|First Lady of the United States|
April 12, 1945 –January 20, 1953
|President||Harry S. Truman|
|Preceded by||Eleanor Roosevelt|
|Succeeded by||Mamie Eisenhower|
|Second Lady of the United States|
January 20, 1945 –April 12, 1945
|Vice President||Harry S. Truman|
|Preceded by||Ilo Wallace|
|Succeeded by||Jane Barkley (1949)|
Elizabeth Virginia Wallace
February 13, 1885
Independence, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||October 18, 1982 97) (aged|
Independence, Missouri, U.S.
|Resting place|| Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum |
Independence, Missouri, U.S.
|Political party||Democratic Party|
(m. 1919;died 1972)
Elizabeth Virginia Truman (née Wallace; February 13, 1885 –October 18, 1982) was the wife of President Harry S. Truman and the First Lady of the United States from 1945 to 1953. She also served as the Second Lady of the United States in 1945.
She had known her future husband since they were children attending the same school in Independence, Missouri. As First Lady, she did not enjoy the social and political scene in Washington, and at the end of her husband's term in 1953, she was relieved to return to Independence. She currently holds the record of longest-lived First Lady and longest-lived Second Lady, at 97 years, 247 days. She died in Independence, Missouri.
Bess Truman was born Elizabeth Virginia Wallace on February 13, 1885, to Margaret Elizabeth Gates (August 4, 1862 – December 5, 1952, daughter of George Porterfield Gates, co-founder of the Waggoner Gates Milling Company)and David Willock Wallace (June 15, 1860 – June 17, 1903, a local politician, son of a former Independence mayor) in Independence, Missouri, and was known as Bessie during her childhood. She was the eldest of four; three brothers: Frank Gates Wallace, (March 4, 1887 – August 12, 1960), George Porterfield Wallace, (May 1, 1892 – May 24, 1963), David Frederick Wallace, (January 7, 1900 – September 30, 1957). Bess had a reputation as a tomboy as a child. As a young woman, Bess enjoyed expressing herself through her fashion and hats; a friend was quoted "Bess always had more stylish hats than the rest of us did, or she wore them with more style."
Harry Truman met Bess soon after his family moved to Independence, and the two attended school together until graduation.
After graduating from William Chrisman High School (then known as Independence High School) she studied at Miss Barstow's Finishing School for Girls in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1903, her father rose very early one morning, climbed into the family bathtub, and died by suicide by shooting himself in the head. According to biographer David McCullough, the cause for his suicide is unknown, with speculation ranging from depression to mounting debts.
Bess and Harry Truman married on June 28, 1919, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Independence.Harry courted Bess before he went off to fight during World War I; he proposed in 1911, but she turned him down. Truman later said that he intended to propose again, but when he did he wanted to be earning more money than a farmer did. Their only daughter, Margaret, was born in 1924.
When Truman was elected as a Senator from Missouri in 1934, the family moved to Washington, DC. Mrs. Truman became a member of the Congressional Club, the PEO Sisterhood, the H Street United Service Organization, and the Red Cross work of the Senate Wives Club. She joined her husband's staff as a clerk, answering personal mail and editing committee reports when he became Chairman of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program.
Bess found the White House's lack of privacy distasteful. As her husband put it later, she was "not especially interested" in the "formalities and pomp or the artificiality which, as we had learned..., inevitably surround the family of the President." Though she steadfastly fulfilled the social obligations of her position, she did only what she thought was necessary. When the White House was rebuilt during Truman's second term, the family lived in Blair House and kept their social life to a minimum. In most years of her husband's presidency, Mrs. Truman was not regularly present in Washington other than during the social season when her presence was expected.The contrast with Bess's activist predecessor Eleanor Roosevelt was considerable. Unlike her, Bess held only one press conference after many requests from the media. The press conference consisted of written questions in advance and the written replies were mostly monosyllabic along with many no comments. When asked why she did not want to give press conferences she replied "I am not the one who is elected. I have nothing to say to the public." Bess's response to whether she wanted her daughter Margaret to become president was "most definitely not." Her reply to what she wanted to do after her husband left office was "return to Independence".
As First Lady, Bess served as Honorary President of the Girl Scouts, the Woman's National Democratic Club, and the Washington Animal Rescue League. She was Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross.
In 1953, the Trumans went back to Independence and the family home at 219 North Delaware Street, where the former president worked on building his library and writing his memoirs. Bess fully recovered following a 1959 mastectomy in which doctors removed a large, but benign, tumor.
When President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965, the Trumans were the first senior citizens to receive Medicare cards, presented to them by Johnson at the Truman Library.
In 1961, David Susskind conducted a series of interviews with former President Truman in Independence. After picking Truman up at his home to take him to the Truman Presidential Library for the interviews over several days, Susskind asked Truman why he had not been invited into the home. According to presidential historian Michael Beschloss, Truman flatly told Susskind, "This is Bess's house" and that there had never been nor would there ever be a Jewish guest.
At the time of her husband's death in 1972 at age 88, she was 87, making them the oldest couple having occupied the White House at that time. Bess agreed to be the honorary chairman for the reelection campaign of Sen. Thomas Eagleton (D-Missouri).
Bess continued to live quietly in Independence for the last decade of her life, being visited by her daughter and grandchildren. She died on October 18, 1982, from congestive heart failure at the age of 97; a private funeral service was held on October 21. Afterwards, she was buried beside her husband in the courtyard of the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.
Bess Truman remains the longest-lived First Lady and Second Lady in United States history.
Independence is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. It lies within Jackson County, of which it is the county seat. Independence is a satellite city of Kansas City, Missouri, and is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area. In 2010, it had a total population of 116,830.
Mary Margaret Truman Daniel was an American classical soprano, actress, journalist, radio and television personality, writer, and New York socialite. She was the only child of President Harry S. Truman and First Lady Bess Truman. While her father was president, during the years 1945 to 1953, Margaret regularly accompanied him on campaign trips, most notably the 1948 extensive countrywide train-borne 'Whistle-stop' campaign trip, which lasted several weeks; she also appeared often at important White House and political events during those years. She was a favorite with the media.
The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and resting place of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953), his wife Bess and daughter Margaret, and is located on U.S. Highway 24 in Independence, Missouri. It was the first presidential library to be created under the provisions of the 1955 Presidential Libraries Act, and is one of thirteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
The Harry S. Truman National Historic Site preserves the longtime home of Harry S. Truman, the thirty-third president of the United States, as well as other properties associated with him in the Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan area. The centerpieces of the site, which is operated by the National Park Service, are the Truman Home in Independence and the Truman Farm Home in Grandview, although it also includes the Noland home of Truman's cousins and the George and Frank Wallace homes of Bess Truman's brothers. The site was designated a National Historic Site on May 23, 1983.
David Howard Susskind was an American producer of TV, movies, and stage plays and also a TV talk show host. His talk shows were innovative in the genre and addressed timely, controversial topics beyond the scope of others of the day.
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt after serving as the 34th vice president. He implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, and established the Truman Doctrine and NATO.
William Chrisman High School is a high school located in Independence, Missouri, United States, as part of the Independence School District.
The second of two assassination attempts on U.S. President Harry S. Truman occurred on November 1, 1950. It was carried out by militant Puerto Rican pro-independence activists Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola while the President resided at Blair House during the renovation of the White House. Both men were stopped before gaining entry to the house. Torresola mortally wounded White House Police officer Leslie Coffelt, who killed him in return fire. Secret Service agents wounded Collazo. President Harry S. Truman was upstairs in the house and not harmed.
Robert Hugh Ferrell was an American historian and a prolific author or editor of more than 60 books on a wide range of topics, including the U.S. presidency, World War I, and U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy. One of the country's leading historians, Ferrell was widely considered the preeminent authority on the administration of Harry S. Truman, and also wrote books about half a dozen other 20th-century presidents. He was thought by many in the field to be the "dean of American diplomatic historians," a title he disavowed.
This Bibliography of Harry S. Truman is a selective list of scholarly works about Harry S. Truman, the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953).
The Harry S. Truman Historic District is a National Historic Landmark District encompassing sites closely associated with US President Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri. It includes the Truman Home at 219 North Delaware, Truman's home for much of his adult life and now a centerpiece of the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site, and the Truman Presidential Library. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974. When first listed, the district included only the two buildings and a corridor joining them. It was substantially enlarged in 2011 to include more sites and the environment in which Truman operated while living in Independence.
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American political figure, diplomat and activist. She served as the First Lady of the United States from March 4, 1933, to April 12, 1945, during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office, making her the longest-serving First Lady of the United States. Roosevelt served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952.
The Democratic Party's 1944 nomination for Vice President of the United States was determined at the 1944 Democratic National Convention, on July 21, 1944. U.S. Senator Harry S. Truman from Missouri was nominated to be President Franklin D. Roosevelt's running-mate in his bid to be re-elected for a fourth term.
The first inauguration of Harry S. Truman as the 33rd President of the United States was held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 12, 1945, at the Cabinet Room inside the White House in Washington, D.C., following the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt earlier that day. The inauguration—the seventh non-scheduled, extraordinary inauguration to ever take place—marked the commencement of the first term of Harry S. Truman as president.
Trinity Episcopal Church is a historic church at 409 North Liberty Street in Independence, Missouri.
David Frederick "Fred" Wallace was an architect and brother of First Lady of the United States Bess Truman.
Clifton Truman Daniel, is the oldest grandson of former United States President Harry S. Truman and First Lady Bess Truman. He is the son of the late E. Clifton Daniel Jr., former managing editor of The New York Times, and best-selling mystery writer Margaret Truman.
Harry S. Truman: A Life is a 1994 biography of Harry S. Truman, president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, by historian Robert Hugh Ferrell. Although it was overshadowed by the popular success of David McCullough's Pulitzer-winning biography Truman, Ferrell's book was widely praised by scholars in his field.
Dear Bess: The Letters from Harry to Bess Truman, 1910-1959 is a 1983 book edited by historian Robert Hugh Ferrell collecting more than 500 letters from U.S. president Harry S. Truman to his wife Bess, ranging from the couple's early courtship to his post-presidency retirement. Well-regarded by other historians, the book also achieved popular success, becoming a New York Times bestseller.
Choosing Truman: The Democratic Convention of 1944 is a 1994 book by historian Robert Hugh Ferrell about the political convention in Chicago which nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt for his fourth election to the U.S. presidency, but jettisoned Vice President Henry A. Wallace in favor of Missouri Sen. Harry S. Truman. The choice was particularly significant because Roosevelt would die in office the following year, making Truman the 33rd president.
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| Second Lady of the United States |
Title next held byJane Barkley
| First Lady of the United States |